The breads that were served in economy, business and first class would always catch my eye! A wonderful variety of sweet, salty, savoury, nutty, grain breads. Especially, their shapes and how perfectly they would be baked! I had always wanted to try making them all, and hence starting with one of my most favourites.
Since I love salty / savoury food, this is, hands-down, one of my most favourite breads!
The textures of this bread are so varied and absolutely delicious!
The crust is slightly thick and chewy, sprinkled with coarse sea salt, the crumb (inside part of the bread) is beautifully airy and soft.
The entire combination of slightly hard and chewy on the outside and beautifully soft and spongy on the inside makes it one of the best breads to be dunked in a soup or had with just butter.
An absolute delight to make!
I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.
A little information about this favourite;
Lye rolls / Pretzel rolls / Laugenbrötchen / Laugen Rolls are a baked specialty in Germany (especially in Bavaria and Swabia), Austria, and Switzerland. They are made by glazing bread rolls with a lye (a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water) solution before baking. In order to cause a Maillard reaction (browning of the bread) during baking for the characteristic browning effect, a lye roll needs to be coated with a high acidic solution.
The more concentrated the solution, the stronger the reaction, and better the colour. Lye is not the only way to produce this result; it's just the strongest and arguably best for this purpose. A baking soda or washing soda solution, which is easier to handle and safer to use, will provide a similar product but will not power as strong a reaction, so the effect will be less. Lye is the strongest, followed by washing soda and lastly baking soda.
In a large bowl, put 1/4th cup of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add half the warm water stirring continuously, to make sure no lumps are formed. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes till it's frothy.
Add the remaining salt to the rest of the flour.
Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, add the remaining water and flour alternately, and make sure no lumps are formed or remain.
By the time all the flour and water is added, the dough should form into one ball; neither too dry nor too sticky. (like a very soft roti dough).
Grease the bowl, place the dough in it and allow to rise for an hour. It should more than double in size.
Approx 8 - 10 Rolls
till it has doubled in size
30 seconds - 1 minute
200 deg C / 400 deg F
20 - 25 minutes
2.5 tsp fresh yeast
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to 2.5 cups of water and boil.
Deflate the dough by pressing in the centre of the dough. Divide into the required number of dough balls.
Shape round, or cylindrical.
Put 2 - 3 dough balls in the boiling water for 30seconds - 1 minute. Make sure they are blanched on both the sides for equal amount of time.
Remove from the pan, drain and place on the baking tray.
If round dough balls, make a X cut with a pair of scissors about 1'' deep.
If cylindrical, make a diagonal slit.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
The more the baking soda the better crust the bread would have. So I prefer using 1/2 cup of Baking Soda, instead of 1/4th cup.
Once the dough balls are blanched in soda water, make sure to drain them well before putting them on the baking tray, or else once the bread rolls are baked, they would have a strong after taste of the baking soda.
What I did wrong while making a slit in the round dough balls was, I didn't make a deep enough cut, hence, the slit on the round dough balls should be atleast an inch deep.
Found the recipe here.